By Mike Parks, Rear Admiral, US Coast Guard (Retired)
Regional CEO, American Red Cross of Northern Ohio
Greetings Northern Ohio Red Cross Family: 2020 has been a year filled with enormous challenges for our country and the American Red Cross including a devastating global pandemic, significant economic downturn, civil unrest brought about by social injustice, an unprecedented hurricane season, deadly Western wildfires, and a contentious election season. All of these things, as well as countless others, have impacted our workforce, families, clients, donors and partners, bringing some degree of concern, anxiety and uncertainty. One thing that has remained constant throughout this tumultuous year, has been the American Red Cross—the Red Cross you serve—has continued to meet mission each and every day!! Thank you!!
This week, despite all of the challenges, we can also gain comfort and certainty, as well as have confidence, in those men and women who have served, and are serving, in our Armed Forces to keep us safe and ensure we never lose the freedoms that have been won at such a high price. As we all know, the American Red Cross has its roots in serving those who served in our military—our Veterans. In honor of Veterans Day 2020, which we commemorate on Wednesday the 11th of November, I’ve included a link to a video clip that I encourage you to watch. The clip shows the Texas Tenors singing Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”
I think its lyrics and the images are far more inspiring than anything I could offer in this message. I know I felt my spirits lifted as I listened and watched it—I hope yours are as well. In closing, please take time to reach out to a Veteran, past or present, and thank them for their service to our country—please show them by your actions that they served, or are serving, a grateful nation. Please stay safe and well.